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Shot in the head by the IDF? Your entry permit is now revoked

An IDF officer opened fire on a Palestinian taxi, killing a 15-year-old boy, and wounding five others. The driver, who was shot in the head, returned from the hospital to discover his work and entry permits had been revoked.

By John Brown*

Mahmoud Badran (first on the right) hours before he was 'mistakenly' shot down by Israeli soldiers. (photo courtesy of B'Tselem)

Mahmoud Badran (first on the right) hours before he was ‘mistakenly’ shot down by Israeli soldiers. (photo courtesy of B’Tselem)

On Tuesday, June 21 at 1:30 a.m., an officer from the IDF’s Kfir Brigade who was driving on Route 443 in the West Bank stood over a bridge adjacent the road and fired a number of bursts at a taxi that passed below. This took place after Palestinians had reportedly thrown stones in the area. The gunfire killed 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran, while four of his friends were wounded and the driver was shot in the head. They were on their way back from a night out at “Lin Land,” a water park in the village of Beit Sira.

The following morning Israeli news outlets reported that a “15-year-old terrorist” was killed, although very quickly it became clear that the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit had lied to the media, and that the officer had fired at innocent passengers. The army even went as far as to take Badran’s fingerprints in order to make sure this was true, according to Attorney Nailah Atia. The officer has yet to be arrested despite opening fire against regulations a number of times.

But the story doesn’t end here. The driver, Ehad Othman, miraculously survived the gunshot to the head, was evacuated to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and treated there. Atia told +972’s Hebrew sister-site, Local Call, last week that upon his return home, Othman had discovered that not only had his taxi been confiscated, but his work permit and entry permit into Israel had been revoked.

But if that weren’t enough, Israel also revoked Ehad’s brothers’ permits. No explanation was given to them. Their employers reached out to the authorities, saying Ihad, Ahmad, and Hamza were excellent workers — yet nothing helped. Thus, Ehad was prevented from returning to Ichilov for necessary medical procedures, which he was forced to pay for out of his own pocket, since Israel refuses to take responsibility for the incident.

Revocation of permits is a well-known practice used in cases when Palestinians are killed by IDF fire, although usually only during years-long investigations — not when the case of illegal use of fire is so clear cut.

Thus we turned to the Civil Administration to, at the very least, understand the reasoning for revoking the brothers’ permits. The Civil Administration claimed the Shin Bet was responsible for the decision, so we turned to them. The Shin Bet checked the claim, and that same day they responded with the following message:

Your inquiry regarding Mr. Ehad Othman and his brothers, Ahmad and Hamza, was received in our offices and passed on to the relevant security authorities. Following an additional examination of the case it was decided that, at this point, the security restriction on their entry into Israel has been removed.

Just like that.

While we are happy that at least this injustice has been resolved, one cannot help but think about how Israel’s military regime in the West Bank, which arbitrarily abuses its power, goes almost entirely unchecked.

*John Brown is the pseudonym of an Israeli academic and a blogger. This story first appeared in Hebrew on Local Call, where he is a blogger. Read it here.

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    1. Oren Aviv

      It’s great that this has been resolved. Unfortunately IDF will continue to operate beyond law and moral with impunity. Is there no check and balances in Israel when it comes to non-jewish population?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Ben

      It’s incidents like this that make one realize all over again how absurd is the exceptionalism that centrist and rightist Israeli Jews claim for themselves, along the lines of: “Don’t worry, unlike all other human beings on Earth, we Israeli Jews can handle entrenching an ethnocracy, we will do it right, and we will be sufficiently democratic and fair to ‘our’ non-Jewish citizens.” (Sufficiently by whose standards? There is always this 19th Century attitude that the Gentiles should know their place and consider themselves lucky.) When Thomas Jefferson and his compatriots wrote all those checks and balances and separations of powers and walls between religion and state into the American Constitution, because they understood the nature of man, did they seek to add the clause, “except the Jewish People, they are unsubsumable, uniquely exceptional, and rise above these checks upon human nature”? They did not. The question is absurd. It is only in a fake, kitsch Disneyland version of Israel that today such counterfeit exceptionalism, which ignores universal truths about human nature and the evil men do whenever they are unrestrained, can be entertained.

      Reply to Comment
      • s maloney

        Dear old Tom Jefferson took one of his scorpions/nubile snakelet with him to France as a human warming pan. Probably better than cotton picking on the home farm for the master….ok maybe he didnt shoot any in the head, (why destroy own property, esp when he could dick it) though I wonder if there is any punishment/stocksales book of the old Jefferson plantation available, to evidence his admirable and exemplary enlightenment. In between rewriting the Bible and making sure fine Pinkels remained fine Pinkels he probably wouldn’t have even thought it necessary to waste ink on writing “except for black 3/5 human slave quasi-beings and very definitely non-citizens”. He would have probably fitted in fairly well, once he had acclimatised to to the noisy and strident vulgarity of 21st century “life” oppression in the “holy” land, but would probably have preferred the wider landscapes of Barbarossa or at least the GeneralGouvernement for his burgeoning and wonderful talent and self-entitlement.

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